Now, no roast turkey dinner is complete without cranberry sauce, in my humble opinion. I found some frozen cranberries lurking at the bottom of my deep freezer from last Christmas and made them into a lovely spiced cranberry sauce with white wine, cinnamon, star anise and cloves. Home made cranberry sauce is a dawdle to make and tastes so much better than the shop bought variety.Growing up with Thanksgiving dinners at my grandmother’s house there were always a selection of pies to choose from for pudding. This was usually pumpkin, blueberry, raisin and/or apple. Therefore, I wanted to serve a selection of pies at my very first Thanksgiving. This was the first time I’d made a blueberry pie (I can’t believe that myself, given how much I loved it as a child!) and I found a superb blueberry pie filling from here. I scaled up the ingredients to use five cups of blueberries as that’s how much it took to fill my pie pan.
The blueberries I’d bought a few months ago at the local supermarket on offer for a mere 66 pence per 250 grams, a bargain! As such I’m sending this recipe over to Credit Crunch Munch by Camilla at Fab Food 4 All and Helen at Fuss Free Flavours. This month Michelle over at Utterly Scrummy Food for Families is hosting.
The sweet pastry dough recipe came from Dean Brettschneider’s book Pie and it was a perfect pastry for the sweet filling. I dreaded the thought of a soggy bottom when it came time to serve and alas, although the bottom was not soggy (I’d made the filling and pastry the day before and chilled it overnight) it was insufficiently cooked. I brushed the base with egg white, chilled for a half an hour before filling, placed the pie plate on a preheated baking tray at the correct temperature recommended by Mr. Brettschneider but alas, it was not perfect. I’m going to blame it on my dodgy oven with it’s single from above heating element. Maybe I should have placed the pie plate on the bottom of the oven and not the centre. Still, it tasted superb and I will make it again! This was served with some home made French vanilla ice cream, a delicious and creamy recipe from the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream book.
The second pie I prepared was a creative adaptation of the traditional pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie was never my favourite as a child (in fact I downright hated it!) but tastes change as one grows up so I thought I’d give it a go. I made a pecan and hazelnut crunch base with cinnamon and brown sugar, filled it with a traditional home made pumpkin pie filling and topped the cooled pie with sweetened whipped cream and roasted hazelnut praline.
It was lovely! However, I’m going to go back to the drawing board and develop this recipe a little further before sharing. I’m going to make it no bake so that the crunch stays in the crust. Watch this space, I should hopefully have a recipe up before the American Thanksgiving, or at least Christmas at the very latest!
Nanya over at Simply Sensational Food is hosting a Let’s Cook with Pumpkin event this month, so I’m sharing this traditional pumpkin pie filling recipe with her.
Children often aren’t that fond of pies, I’ve learnt, so I defrosted some of the old-fashioned soft molasses cookies I’d made not too long ago as a Plan B. The children loved these!
To finish our Thanksgiving meal off the grown-ups sat back and relaxed while my partner whipped up some cocktails. The day before Thanksgiving a parcel arrived in the post containing a bottle of Martin Miller’s Gin. The first thing I noticed was the impressive ‘sleeping bag’ packaging it was sent in so that it arrived all these miles to its destination in the North Sea without getting smashed. Then I noticed the superb labelling. As a product sitting on a shelf I would say this it is visually stunning. It has clear and simple labelling which tells you right away that it is made in England with Icelandic water. My only complaint is that they’ve omitted Shetland on their map. This happens quite frequently. We’re often forgotten about all the way up here in the middle of nowhere!
Martin Millers Gin is distilled in England and made with natural spring water from Iceland. This pure spring water is combined with the flavour of juniper berries, cassia bark, coriander seed, angelica root, orris root, citrus peel and a few other secret inspirational herbs in a 1904 gin still fondly named Angela.
The dedication to creating a quality gin shines in this product. It’s a bit like drinking a glacier, with a serious alcoholic kick! They’ve won over 25 international medals and accolades since they started producing in 1999 (the year I moved to the UK!). We tried quite a few of the recipes in the accompanying book. My favourite has to be the Clover Club pictured left (I’ve shared the recipe below). It’s been many years since I’ve last tried gin; many years since the last top hat and tails cocktail party I hosted in my younger years. Thanks to Martin Millers Gin I’ve rediscovered my love of cocktails, and better yet, my partner loves making them so I just get to sit and wait to have my drink handed to me! For that, I am very thankful. 🙂
Martin Miller’s Gin just goes to show that if you want pure, unspoiled quality you just need to start North.
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 dashes Grenadine
- 2 oz Martin Miller’s Gin
- 1 egg white
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 1
Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary received a complimentary bottle of Martin Miller’s Gin for review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. This is not a paid post.